NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow returned to the air Monday with some bad news for her fans: She will only be doing her prime-time show once a week starting next month.
After working her usual five nights a week for the rest of April, Maddow said she won’t be working Monday nights until May. The network said it will rotate guest presenters on the other four days of the week on a show called “MSNBC Prime.”
“Obviously, on big news events, like leading up to the election, I’ll be more than this, but that’s the general plan,” Maddow said on her show Monday.
The cable news network’s favorite personality has been on hiatus for the past two months, working on a new podcast and film adaptation of her book, Bag Man. She said the weekly schedule will give her “more time to work on some of these other things that I have cooking for MSNBC and NBC.”
She praised Ali Velshi, who often filled in for her while she was away, calling him a “prince among men.”
But MSNBC’s ratings in her time slot fell in her absence, even with coverage of a gripping news event, the war in Ukraine. MSNBC isn’t alone with questions about the 9 p.m. Eastern Hour: CNN hasn’t named a full-time replacement for its former ratings leader, Chris Cuomo, since his firing in December.
The plan puts MSNBC executives in an awkward position. Although MSNBC has been reported to have signed a new deal with Maddow giving her additional flexibility, executives have not publicly addressed that deal or Maddow’s announcement Monday. It seems, for now at least, that the network will be happy to get as much as possible from Maddow and keep the lights on if one day she decides to do more.
Maddow said she originally thought she might need another break from her show this year, but has determined she won’t.
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